Lead Dev 2016 London: Working backwards from the customer

  • Thomas Lobinger
  • AWS Berlin

(how do they propose new services at AWS)

How to share and work on ideas ?

How to align a team, make a shared vision ? User stories is a common tools, it helps to share understanding. It is a good starting point for a conversation, but it doesn’t work for bigger scale problems, it doesn’t get real expectations. Amazon created the 14 amazon leadership principles, a customer centric approach for product building.

Working backwards from the customer

1. Mock press release

Talk about it with your coworkers.

It should look like this:

  • abstract
  • problem solved
  • solution with quote (involves real stakeholders)
  • how to get started
  • quote by a (real) customer
  • closing
  • call to action

It takes time to make a good press release, but nothing compared to development time. At first, ignore all the constraints, it will slow you down later. Be exited about it. If not, just don’t launch this product.

2. FAQs

Anticipate needs.

People read the doc and then, they have a lot of questions. Keep them in a FAQ, grouped by target audience (customers, stakehosders, production).

3. Mockups

Sketches customer experience. Tells the story of how the product will be used.

4. Loop/iterate on the documents

Add more and more constraints